Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Jonah Goldberg:

On Taxes and Tyranny.

Americans work an average of 103 days a year just to pay their taxes. If you had to work 365 days a year to pay your taxes, that would be a kind of slavery or indentured servitude, because all of your productive labor would be going to the government. You would have no resources of your own to provide for the life you wanted. Instead the government would provide you not with what you want, but what the government decides you need.

That sounds like a kind of tyranny to me.

And, I think if we had to work 364 days a year it would still be a kind of serfdom (after all, serfs were allowed a little plot of their own). Ditto 363 days, 362 days, 361 days etc. Now, at some point the difference of degree becomes a difference in kind; working one day a year to pay for the government doesn't sound oppressive to me. But it seems to me that it's hardly absurd to think that 103 days a year is too much, or to believe that if that number goes even higher, we're losing something important.

I would also add that it's sort of crazy for liberals to equate government hand-outs (positive liberty, FDR's economic bill of rights and all that) with "freedom" but to equate the desire to keep more of the money you make yourself with greed and oppression of some kind. Money does make all sorts of liberties possible (you have to pay for your megaphone and all that). But government money only pays for the "liberties" the government thinks you should have, and therefore it can determine how you exercise them. That turns liberties into privileges dispensed at the whim of the state.



Read the whole thing. Whether you agree with him or not, Jonah is a brilliant writer.

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